Pining for fourth medal
By STEVE SPINKS
NOT many Australian swimmers can claim to have contested five world championships.
But former Lismore butterflyer Adam Pine will be able to if he wins through at the Australian swimming championships in Sydney starting today.
The Telstra Titles double as a selection trial for the world championships, which will be held in Montreal, Canada, in July.
"I don't think anyone else would be going for their fifth world champs," Pine told The Northern Star from Canberra, where he is now based.
"I'm expecting to make the team ... I always try to do my best and that should be good enough, I think.
"I'd like to be on that team."
Five world championships.
It rolls off the tongue easily enough, but what those words don't describe is the commitment, pain, early mornings, injuries, frustrations and time that Pine has put into training.
One of the Australian Sports Commission administrator's biggest frustrations was his performance at the Olympic Games in Athens last year in his pet event, the 100m butterfly.
"I wasn't completely happy with how I went," Pine said.
"I had a great time in Athens and was part of the relay, but I knew I could have done better."
His Olympic Games experience has motivated him to swim on to the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne next year.
"It was a pretty easy decision to keep going when I got home," Pine said.
"I had six weeks off when I got back, then I raced the World Cup meet and the Skins.
"I still love the sport and it's close to the Commonwealth Games.
"I have three medals from the 100-metre 'fly in three Commonwealth Games, so I'd definitely like to make it four from four."
The birth of his second son Buster on Boxing Day and a new coach, John Fowlie, have been significant distractions for the veteran swimmer in the past few months.
Fowlie is the son of Jim Fowlie, who was the coach responsible for brining Pine to the Australian Institute of Sport.
But Pine is aware he can't afford to go into the 100m butterfly heats unfocused.
"Geoff Huegill is definitely the man to beat," Pine said.
"Michael Klim has also been swimming well over the past few months and there are plenty of up-and-comers in good form.
"It will be a good race."
Pine will also contest the 50m butterfly and the 100m freestyle.